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Cologne 201: What To Wear in the Summer

Make sure your go-to blend plays nice with the warm weather.



After studying the basics of choosing the perfect cologne blend, there's one last variable you have to take into consideration: the season. There are plenty of scents out there that are just fine to wear year-round, but if you want to put that extra bit of effort into smelling great for the summer, you can invest in a summer scent that'll mesh especially well with the sunny weather.

Of the four major scent groups -- floral, fresh, oriental, and woodsy -- the first two are more fit for summer. On a 90 degree day when you're walking around in the blazing sunshine, a cologne that's got strong woodsy or oriental notes will hit you like a ton of bricks. They're great for cooler temperatures and darker weather, but in the heat and sun they can smell way too aggressive and out of sync with the season.


Forgo the heavy blends

If you're go-to blend leans heavily on those scent groups with notes like tobacco, moss, musk, vanilla, leather, or spices, leave it on the shelf during the warmer months. They're just too strong and rich for the summer.


Mind the changes in humidity

Because you're sweating more and the humidity is higher, the fragrance molecules in your cologne will activate more quickly and more strongly in the summer. So your cologne won't last as long, and will smell stronger -- which is especially bad if you're using a woodsy or oriental scent, since they can get overpowering and unpleasant. And since your summer scent will fade more quickly thanks to the weather, you may want to get an extra, smaller bottle and keep it in your bag or at work. Reapply if you need to smell good for a night out after leaving the office.


Look for a "l'eau" version of your go-to

Not all labels make 'em, but in some cases you can find your favorite cologne that's billed as "l'eau," which means that it's the same basic formula but with some summer tweaks. The top notes get more attention, while the heavier base notes are softened to make a blend that smells a little brighter and seasonally appropriate.


Go green. Or white.

Green notes like grass, tea leaves, and herbs smell fresh and crisp. White flowers like lily and jasmine are a specific sub-type of floral scents that smell sweet and lush. Both make for excellent summer cologne components, so look for options that advertise any of those notes. Though keep in mind that while white flowers notes are light and summery, they're also very feminine. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but if you don't like the idea of wearing something unisex then steer clear of anything that uses those scents as top notes.





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